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Harlow’s ambassador Nishall receives national award for many community campaigns

Communities / Sat 8th Jul 2017 at 01:56pm

Nishall 2017

A HARLOW who man who has campaigned from an early age to make his community a better place to live has been recognised with a national honour.

Nishall Garala, of Harlow, has been given a British Citizen Award for his services to the community.

The British Citizen Awards (BCAs) were launched in January 2015, to recognise exceptional individuals who work tirelessly and selflessly to make a positive impact on society. BCAs are awarded twice annually, and recognise ‘everyday’ people whose achievements may otherwise be overlooked.

Nishall, aged 21, first started working in the community when he was elected on to the local youth council at the age of 13. He served on the youth council for six years and undertook many roles in this time. He has also held a variety of positions in addition to being a youth councillor, including being a student governor for Harlow College; Vice Chairman for Waterhouse Moor Residents Association; and a police support volunteer. Further to these roles, Nishall has attended various conferences both local, national and international to promote what the power of a community can do and how it can help people.

In addition, Nishall has also created a social media campaign, #BigUpHarlow, to tackle negative perception of Harlow. The campaign has helped residents of the town, both young and old, to start appreciating where they live.

The campaign currently has 620 followers and achieves many more retweets, impressions and likes through the followers of its contributors. Regularly, Nishall enthuses local councillors, his MP, or Harlow Chamber of Commerce to post on #BigUpHarlow to ensure it reaches as broad an audience as possible. He has been called an ‘ambassador’ of the town by the local press due to his commitment to his local community.

Nishall’s passion is to give a voice to young people in Harlow, at council and public meetings and other community events. He involves all young people in democracy – including hard-to-reach groups – through consultation and community work. Nishall raises the profile of young people to ensure that local decision-makers recognise that young people are the future generation and therefore an important part of Harlow’s future.

Nishall currently works with Harlow Police as a volunteer, championing youth voice in local policing and the involvement of young people in activities the police do. He is the link between the police, local youths, Harlow and the Hindu community whilst at the same time, being the police’s voice back into those groups. Nishall holds surgeries where young people in the local college and school can go and talk to him about crime and anti-social behaviour they may be facing.

Nishall, is one of 30 medallists who will be honoured at a prestigious ceremony on July 6, at the Palace of Westminster. All BCA recipients have positively impact society undertaking various activities in support of a number of causes. Each will receive a Medal of Honour, inscribed with the words ‘For the Good of the Country’. Medallists are also invited to use the initials BCA after their name.

Speaking about his nomination, said: “I was really excited when my mum told me about the nomination, but I never expected to actually get the award because what I do isn’t making a national difference. I’m absolutely ecstatic that I’ve been given it.

“I do what I do because I have always liked seeing other people be happy and being able to help bring about positive changes just makes me happy.”

The awards are in partnership with customer experience management company, InMoment, and are supported by the world’s largest optical retailer, Specsavers; one of the largest property and leisure management, development and regeneration companies in the UK, Places for People; leading ethical law firm Irwin Mitchell; the UK and Europe’s leading palletised freight distribution company, Pall-Ex, owned by BCAs Patron Hilary Devey; and specialist marketing, PR and communications agency, Lime Marketing – who each had representatives at the assessment day and will be presenting the awards in July.

Nishall was nominated for a BCA by his mother, Arvinda Garala, who said: “Nishall has had an incredible benefit to the community, not only in empowering youth voices but also making a change in the perceptions that people have of young people.

“He is known by many as a leader, striding for success and wanting the best for everyone’s future, putting others before himself and making sure they get the best opportunity in life.”

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